Reservoir by Peter von Tiesenhausen – Dynamic Environment Exhibition

November 4th, 2020

In Reservoir, Peter von Tiesenhausen collaborated with sound artists Jen Reimer and Magnus Tiesenhausen and cinematographer Dave McGregor to capture the immense space and presence of the Saddleridge reservoir through sound and video. This project was developed while the artist was embedded in the UEP Department during the Watershed+ Dynamic Environment Lab.

Hidden beneath two soccer fields, the Saddleridge reservoir provides drinking water that originates from the Bow Glacier and watershed to north-eastern Calgary. With the capacity to hold 38 million litres of water, the reservoir has remained sealed to the outside world for forty years, sitting in darkness and silence as it supplied water until it was opened for scheduled maintenance in the spring of 2017. The underground concrete chamber is unlike any surroundings we are familiar with. The smallest of sounds will echo throughout the vast empty space and certain frequencies build upon themselves, intensifying in resonance. The improvised sound performance and fleeting images explore the unique nature and ambience of the space and combine to create Reservoir. Once maintenance was completed the colossal chamber was refilled, restoring it to silence for the next forty years.

This work is on view at Contemporary Calgary as part of the Dynamic Environment exhibition until January 5, 2020.

Previously shown at TRUCK Contemporary Art and the Art Gallery of Alberta in 2018.